Alternatives to New Year’s resolutions
Towards the end of every year we are faced with the same dreaded question. It leaves us feeling incomplete and unconfident. At some point before the start of the next year, a family member, friend, or coworker will likely ask you that awful dreaded question. The topic may come up when talking about the upcoming weekend or even holiday plans, but rest assured that the question will be asked.
What is your New Year’s resolution?
If you’re like me, then you haven’t made a New Year’s Resolution and you have no intention of doing so any time soon. If you’re like 80% of people, then you will ultimately fail your New Year’s Resolution, anyways. Many people find humor in knowing that most resolutions will result in complete failure. I mean, have you seen Wong Fu Production’s hilarious video on the subject? Others may actually find comfort in knowing that most resolutions are doomed from the start.
So, is all hope lost? Is it impossible to change or grow as a person? Absolutely not! You are capable of change, and you are capable of growth. Net Pay Advance will be here every step of the way with helpful information on living a healthy and more fulfilling life, while still saving money.
Why New Year’s resolutions are bad
There are many reasons most people fail their resolutions before the end of February. Some people feel too overwhelmed about their goals. This may be because they either did not have a clear goal in mind, were unsure of how to establish a plan with smaller stepping-stone objectives, or refused to consider more-achievable goals. Learning a new language is an honorable resolution, but if you don’t have steps along the way, you will never be able to keep up with the amount of work it requires. Others fail because they are genuinely uninterested in the resolution. They may not have attempted to encourage others to join them because they didn’t believe it was a good resolution. Or, they may be too focused on the idea of having a resolution, rather than actively working towards it. Some people are too impatient for delayed gratification and loose interest over time.
Some resolutions fail because they simply have too much pressure on them to succeed. These resolutions crumple under the weight. Change takes time, and success will not be found in a day, week, or even month. Some people focus more on their failures along their way than their successes. They become disheartened and are unable to see the positives over time. Other individuals keep waiting for “tomorrow” to happen. Many people just end up pushing off their resolution entirely. This is the main reason I do not personally like the idea of New Year’s Resolutions. If you want to make a change, then now is the time to do so. Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
Resolutions can be unhealthy for your mental and physical health. Afterall, there’s nothing worse than setting yourself up for failure. So many people put pressure onto their resolutions and then feel disheartened when they do not find success. This disappointment can lead to lowered self-esteem. These individuals may stay afraid of trying new things or making changes in the future. A person who gives up on trying to lose weight or eat healthier will ultimately never achieve either. The idea of resolutions is to encourage ourselves to improve. What is the point of resolutions if they’re not actually resulting in that?
Another secret about the idea of New Year’s Resolution is that they are often used as a marketing ploy by some companies. The gym ad telling you to keep working on your weight-loss resolution really just wants your money. The meal prep company encouraging you to eat healthier just wants you to buy their food products. The newspaper and magazine companies are all encouraging you to read more and learn something new by subscribing (for a small monthly fee) to their website. If you look closely, you will even see the travel industry encouraging you to take more vacations this next year. Stop listening to the suggested New Year’s goals of others that don’t match your own.
Alternate options for 2020
There is a reason we have a whole article on our experience of giving up New Year’s Resolutions. In that article, we provide one alternative to setting a resolution. We recommended focusing on one word that brings you joy (ours was “positive”), and trying to incorporate it into your whole year. What we didn’t realize at the time was that this is actually one way to practice mindfulness. Instead of focusing on a win/lose goal, we focused on something more abstract and found a way to incorporate this positive word into our day-to-day life. We focused more on the successes than we did the failures.
Another idea we love is establishing a new goal each month, rather than each year. This works in two ways: you can (1) establish stepping stones to meet a larger long-term goal, or (2) improve yourself a little in a lot of different ways. There is less stress with these goals, and you might notice that if you find more successes, you might find more courage to continue this path month after month.
Don’t sit around waiting for the new year to start. Start your resolution today. I’m looking to constantly change, grow, and improve myself. That certainly isn’t going to happen if I just sit around waiting for some magical time of the year to start. Instead, I’m going to begin working towards my goal(s) today. If you want to lose weight, start by avoiding the box of donuts in the break room. If you want to save money, go home and put aside a few dollars tonight.
Pick a goal and make a checklist. This is a great alternative, because it lets you focus on the victories and accomplishments, rather than the goal itself. For example, if your goal is to build a savings, then we have plenty of advice on how to do that here, here, and here. Make a checklist of the steps you need to do in order, and check them off the list. If your goal is to improve your credit score, then we have plenty of advice on how to do that here, here, and here. Regardless of what your goal is, you can always make a list of which steps need to be accomplished, and then just work through the list.
Ditch the New Year’s Resolution this year, and choose a worthy alternative instead. 2020 is not only a new year, it is also a new decade; so, stop doing things the old traditional boring way. It’s time to reinvent the idea of New Year’s Resolutions.